• Fortaleza Dance + Arts

What’s the difference between Lambazouk and Brazilian Zouk?

Updated: Jan 2, 2019

There are many similarities between Lambazouk and Brazilian Zouk, because Brazilian Zouk also comes from Lambada - but here are some notable differences:

A. In Lambazouk, you continue stepping the beat with your feet and rarely stop. In Brazilian Zouk you can pause your feet to play with body rolls, head movements and so on. In Lamba, head movements, body rolls and so on are usually executed as the feet continue to mark out the beat (one exception might be during the musical intro).

B. In Lambazouk, the music tends to be faster, with a strong beat. But Lambazouk can also be danced to medium or slow music.

C. In Lambazouk (especially in the Porto Seguro style), the hips tend to move more than they do in Brazilian Zouk. Figure-of-eight or side-to-side hip movements are important elements of many Lambazouk steps, with notable exceptions being during turns and spins.

D. There are many signature steps of Lambazouk (these are set out on another blog post). Many were developed by Master Braz dos Santos and his brother Master Didi dos Santos, some come from other Brazilian or African dances. Many signature Lambazouk steps contribute to fun between couples on the dance floor, such as stealing and partner-swapping. Dancing with multiple partners is common in Lambazouk, and so is an emphasis on various kinds of turns and spinning.

E. For students who switch between Brazilian Zouk and Lambazouk, it is vital to pay attention to one’s centre of balance, as these are different in the two dances. Generally, weight is pitched further back in Brazilian Zouk. If you try to follow Brazilian Zouk with a Lambazouk centre of gravity you will tend to pitch forward and topple towards the leader. Instead, followers must be centred further back to allow for typical Brazilian Zouk movements that are led with a paused foot.


[ Please note: in the interest of clarity - ''Lambazouk'' is another name for the modern day ''Lambada'', and the two names are interchanged regularly by the industry's noted authorities. They have the same meaning and refer to the original Porto Seguro-style of Zouk Lambada. ''Brazilian Zouk'' typically refers to the Rio-style of Zouk Lambada.]


Braz dos Santos is an internationally noted and respected authority on Brazilian Lambada. He is the Founder of the American Lambada Organisation, a sought after instructor at congresses and dance schools around the world, and a pioneer of the dance as an art form and discipline. The international touring show ''Brazouka'', choreographed by celebrated artist Arlene Phillips, was inspired by his life story.